Wales Left Sweating By Turkish Temperatures And Worries Over Taulupe

Both Wales and Australia will spend this weekend sweating as they count down towards their World Cup clash in around seven weeks’ time.

For Wales, the heat is on the players in Turkey, where head coach Warren Gatland has taken his hopefuls for a second training camp following their exploits in Switzerland.

One minute, they were breathing in cool Alpine air. The next, they are trying to avoid the glare of the sun in temperatures of 40 degrees.

Wales assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys says: “It was really hot when we first got here, and low humidity.

“Then we saw the temperatures dropping, but the humidity went up, so I’m not sure which one I prefer.

“It’s incredibly tough training in over 40 degrees, but it’s exactly what we wanted from coming here. It’s been really good and the players are working very hard.”

Something else both Humphreys and Gatland are sweating over is the fitness of their No.8, Taulupe Faletau, arguably the one current world class player they possess.

Faletau did not travel to Turkey because of a long-standing calf injury and Humphreys has conceded that the Cardiff forward may not feature in the three warm-up Tests in August.

“Hopefully he will play, but I don’t think it’s something we’ll massively push if he’s not 100%,” said Humphreys.

“If he doesn’t feature it’s not going to necessarily rule him out.

“We have got a few options who can play there so hopefully we will still have massive competition for that spot.”

Australia are guaranteed a sweaty weekend because they are playing New Zealand in the Rugby Championship clash, that also has the local element of the Bledisloe Cup – the annual bash-up between the nations.

Eddie Jones will lead the Wallabies into the World Cup after returning home at the end of his stint with England, but it has not been a success so far.

The man who took the Aussies to the World Cup final exactly 20 years ago is still looking for his first victory and it is difficult to see it coming in Melbourne against the in-form All Blacks.

Meanwhile, Cardiff are hoping the heat may be off them for a while now they have brought the situation over their director of rugby, Dai Young, to a close.

Young left the club by mutual consent earlier this week and it is now expected that Matt Sherratt – the Englishman who served as an assistant to Young – will be promoted to the top job at the Arms Park.